Gemischter Satz mit Shlag (Schlag)
by Alice Feiring, June 24, 2009
About the wines of Vienna and the terroir hype of Wiener Gemischter Satz!
Vienna has more than shlag, it has terroir.
In fact the snow covered Alps stops at the Danube. It's almost like the mountain range gave a last burb and out of it emerged three defiant mounds of rock and loess. Kahlenberg Nussberg and Bisamberg are just outside of city limits. Cool, no?
1400 of acres of vines, a third of the acreage of Long Island, are in pitching distance of the thriving city of Vienna, home of the sacher torte, home to Freud's favorite cafe and home to some of the best of Josef Hoffman's designs. It serves to reason that the end of the Alps has got to have something special down under. And it deserves respect. But driving through the vines I saw farming that made Champagne look biodynamic. Yes, it was that bad.
Except of course for the exceptions.
Perhaps because he's in biodynamic conversion, Wien winemaker Fritz Weininger, has become a mentor to fledgling winemakers wanting to go chemical free. Part of this reawakening is a reinvigoration of a white field blend called Gemischter Satz. This GS, has always been the local glug of choice, especially in those Heurigens (those winery restaurants where schnitzel and GS go hand in hand). But the wine just didn't get a whole lot of respect, especially in a region where riesling and gruner are king.
Now, this new breed of winemaker, the ones that believe organic or more is the way to go, are making the wines citified and cool.
I was slated to lunch with one of them, Jutta Ambrositsch. Hopelessly lost, I arrived at the turn of the century, Schwarzes Kameel, soaked and forty-five minutes late. Ambrositsch, who looked no more than eighteen, sat quietly in a corner booth and was visably relieved when I showed up. So was I. She was a refugee from the graphic arts world.
"I needed to work in nature," she told me, and started to play in the dirt in 2004. Wieninger actually donated 2.4 hectare to farm for the cause. She is going to start winemaking classes which I hope will not corrupt her instincts, but for now, Wieninger makes her wine. Yes, he yeasts, as most people there do. Yet, slow fermenters, her wines showed the quality of her passionate farming. The girl does good. She grows Gruners and Rieslings but it was her old-vine Gemischter Satz that spoke loudest to me. Hers comes from a group of vines near the Heurigen-rich town of Grinzing and planted with about twenty varietals.
She's got two. My favorite was the Alte Reben, with two extra weeks of hang time.
Gemischter Satz, Sommeregg, Reserve Alte Reben, 2006
This little puppy demanded attention. So I thought, I can do that. I'll give you some attention. The wine was intense, complex, bounced from this edge of mineral to honeysuckle with a touch of skunk. And that finish just didn't let go.
Her GS, as well as another I’m fond of, Rainer Christ’s are available through Darcy & Huber Selections.
In addition, below are other GS currently imported by darcy and huber selections:
• Weingut Rainer Christ (Wien Preis 2008)
• Weingut Cobenzl (Wien Preis 2008)
• Weingut Edlmoser (Wien Preis 2008)
• Weingut Hajszan (Austrian Salon Winner 2008)
• Weingut Thomas P. Offner (Protege of Rainer Christ very limited inventory)
• Weingut Mayer am Pfarrplatz & Rotes Haus (Wien Preis 2008)
• Weingut Zahel (Wien Preis 2008)
More about Wien Wein Group: http://www.wienwein.net/
More about Alice Feiring: http://www.alicefeiring.com
About Alice Feiring
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alice Feiring is an American journalist and author, for several years a wine and travel columnist for Time magazine, and known as an advocate for "natural wine". In addition to contributions to publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler, her blog "Veritas in Vino" is considered among America's leading wine blogs,and her voice described by Mike Steinberger as part of a new wave of "real flowering of high-quality wine journalism".
Her book published in May 2008, The Battle for Wine and Love: Or How I Saved the World from Parkerization, described as "an opinionated look at the fight to preserve authenticity and diversity in wine", due to its perceived "declaration of war" against critic Robert Parker found some controversy well before its date of release. Reviewing the book, Eric Asimov later wrote, "Ms. Feiring is an uncompromising judge of wine and people who can no more stomach a lover’s preference for a wine she abhors than she can the presence of a microwave in her kitchen."
Feiring's critical statements against California wine as "overblown, over-alcoholed, over-oaked, overpriced and over-manipulated" have also sparked controversy.
An article Feiring wrote for The Upgrader on Men.Style.com, online site of GQ and Details, titled "The Ten Most Overrated Wines in the World", which listed Bordeaux Garagistes, Australian Shiraz, Martinborough Sauvignon blanc, Super-Tuscans, Clos de Vougeot, Long Island wine,Albariño, Screaming Eagle, Sea Smoke Pinot noir and Chilean Cabernet, chiefly drew response from defenders of Long Island wine.
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Alice Feiring about the Terroir Hype of the Wiener Gemischter Satz!
- Reply by GregT, Jun 27, 2009.
Wow. You put your own name in the post, a link to your own site, information about yourself and a link to more information about you.
I've been to the winery and tasted all of their wines and have some in my cellar. Never thought about using that to post about myself.